[2015] Mary, Mae, Fiona allsopp (Allsopp): The Indian Ocean

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[2015] Mary, Mae, Fiona allsopp (Allsopp): The Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean: Diseases, Religion, Products Mae, Fiona, Mary

DiseasesMuslim and Hindu pilgrimages and fairs, trade between Indian Ocean ports, the movement of soldiers and migrant laborers during imperial expansions, and the rise of trading cities such as Calcutta contributed to the spread of diseases in the Indian Ocean Area. These diseases include cholera, smallpox, plague and influenza.Tens of thousands of Muslims travelled to Mecca annually for the hajj. Mecca was not only a religious center, but also a focal point of exchange for Indian Ocean trade. The movement, concentration, and interaction of large numbers of people during the hajj, annual trade fairs, and trading ports such as Bombay, Jeddah, and Zanzibar led to the unintentional spread of diseases such as cholera and smallpox.Dhows were a major cause for the transmission of diseases, although they also spread local traditional medicines and medical knowledge. Before the 1860s, dhows were the only means of transport that connected the Indian Ocean communities. Therefore, with so many people making contact through dhows, contagious diseases spread.Changes and ContinuitiesOriginally, books on Islamic medical knowledge were handwritten.The most important were Shams al- Ma’arif (The Illumination of Knowledge) written by Abu al-‘Abbas (d. 1225), an egyptian scholar, and Tib al-Nabawi (The Prophetic Medicine) compiled by Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (1292-1350 C.E.), a Syrian jurist. However, the development of the printing industry in India and Egypt spread knowledge about Islamic medicine. By 1450, the spread of diseases increasingly affected the Indian Ocean, particularly the Middle East, East Asia, and East Africa, due to changes in technology, trade, and encounters.One of the biggest spreaders of the bubonic plague was the Indian Ocean trade network.Effects and ResultsThe diseases that were spread by the Indian Ocean trade network had many effects on different regions.The effect of the bubonic plague was that it became very difficult and dangerous to trade with, and produce goods, causing the prices of imported and locally produced goods to skyrocket. The bubonic plague also caused a loss of confidence in traditional faith (the idea of “Christendom” was abandoned), patriotism and nationalism increased, and modern Europe was formed.Smallpox spread across Asia in the Middle Ages and reached Europe by A.D. 700, wiping out large rural populations, and many members of royal families, such as Queen Mary II of England, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I, French King Louis XV, and Tsar Peter II of Russia.The Aztec and Incan civilizations were greatly destructed by the disease when it was brought to the New World from Europe.Also, the concept of inoculation was known in Africa, India and China by the 1600s, and in Europe by the 1700s largely due to smallpox. Smallpox was the first target in Europe, and although the tests were risky, they were fairly successful.

ReligionThrough the Indian Ocean, religion spread mostly without conflict and by choice. The formation of cosmopolitan communities , connected by trade across the Indian Ocean world became one of its defining characteristics. Buddhism moved along the trade routes, moving into the cultures of Asia.This movement was helped by the fact that Buddhism, unlike Hinduism, did not look down on merchants, so many Indian merchants converted to Buddhism. By the first century C.E., trading ships and caravans from India were transporting Buddhist missionaries along with goods such as textiles, ivory, sandalwood, and spices.The spice trade, previously responsible for Indian influence (Hinduism and Buddhism) to the court culture of coastal Southeast Asia, was later attributed to spreading Islam. The pepper ports of southern India had significant Muslim populations, some of whom were local converts as well as Arab merchants who became residents. In Southeast Asia, Islam spread through the region during this period, gradually moving from the port cities into the countryside until by 1500 it was the dominant religion of Southeast Asia.There were two main slave routes—one from East Africa and the Red Sea to Arabia, India, and Southeast Asia, and the other from the opposite direction. Religions, including Hinduism in India, Buddhism in the Malaya-Indonesian area, and beginning in the seventh century, Islam, strongly influenced slavery and its uses.In the Qur'an, spices are considered almost holy, and are mentioned many times. In particular, ginger (commonly from India), is mentioned. In one passage, this is said: "They shall be served on silver dishes, and beakers as large as goblets; silver goblets which they themselves shall measure: and cups brim full with ginger flavored water from a fount called Salsabil."Evidently, ginger was very valuable and important in their culture due to its uses and relative rarity.Continuities and ChangesAn obvious continuity througout the Indian Ocean trade system was that religion spread throughout it-- however, one big difference was that the main religions it was spreading changed. By the first century, Buddhism was spread along the routes, and soon after that Hinduism became dominant in the system. In the seventh century, Islam was a prominent force in the Indian Ocean Trade network. Whatever the dominant religion of the time was, missionaries or preists of that religion went along with products to the lands to spread their beleifs and teachings.One other continuity was the fact that the dominant religion during a time was connected to the popular goods-- when Buddhism was dominant, for example, sandalwood and spices from India were very popular.EffectsDue to the intesive spread of religion through the Indian Ocean routes, cultures were also blended and immerse in one another, as religion and culture are very closely tied. Because of this, many regions in the Indian Ocean trade area have similar characteristics and/or comparable lifestyles.

ProductsIndian Ocean trade was vital to the exchange of products between peoples. Originally, these products were largely of African or Asian origin, such as copper, coconuts, and gold from Africa, and porcelain, spices, and incense from Asia. When Europe increased their presence in the Indian Ocean, European goods became more common in the Indian Ocean region. These goods were produced less than traditional products however, as European desire for foreign goods resulted in the increased production of them. Unfortunately, the increased demand for goods had negative effects on the environment as large areas of natural habitat were cleared for space to farm or build factories. It also resulted in a greater need for labor and number of slaves.Previous to Europe’s Age of Exploration, around two hundred slaves were traded across Indian Ocean trade routes annually in the tenth century. When Europe’s presence in the Indian Ocean increased, the number of slaves traded across the Indian Ocean increased to around three thousand slaves traded annually. Slaves were most often Africans, Indians, or unwanted Chinese girls. Indian Ocean trade also was important to the spread of knowledge and growth of cities. Many herbs that were traded across the Indian Ocean served medicinal purposes or were sturdy crops that could support a larger population than previously. Both of these resulted in larger and more prosperous cities. Spices were in high demand on the Indian Ocean trade routes. When visiting the island now known as Java, Marco Polo recorded some of what he saw on their trade. He described Java as being extremely rich in a number of important spices, "which occasion it to be visited by many ships laden with merchandise." Those who owned and sold spice made a handsome profit from this trade. The money to be made from the spice trade may have been a factor in what attracted Europeans to Indian Ocean trade, and may have encouraged them to dominate the trade there. This mindset that the Europeans had when they entered the Indian Ocean, resulted in large companies holding monopolies over Indian Ocean trade, instead of small groups of merchants recieving the benefits of trade.

WORKS CITED:Disease:"How Smallpox Changed the World - LiveScience." 2011. 1 Dec. 2015Issa, Amina A. "Dhows and Epidemics in the Indian Ocean Ports." ZIFF Journal 3 (2006): 63-70."Ridgeaphistory - The Indian Ocean Trade Complex." 2012. 27 Nov. 2015"Social and Economic Effects of the Plague - Brown University." 2010. 27 Nov. 2015"Teaching About the Indian Ocean World - AP Central." 2007. 27 Nov. 2015"The Black Death." 2006. 30 Nov. 2015 "World History Connected | Vol. 11 No. 1 | Thomas Anderson ..." 2014. 23 Nov. 2015Religion:Anderson, Thomas, Teaching the Indian Ocean as World History. World History Connected 11.1 (2014): 28 pars. 23 Nov. 2015 http://worldhistoryconnected.press.illinois.edu/11.1/anderson.html."Spice Trade." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.Stanley, Bruce. "Herat." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.Trade Routes." Buddhist Art and Trade Routes. Asia Society, n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. http://www.asiasocietymuseum.org/buddhist_trade/traderoutes.html.Products:Hackney, Ryan. "Kilwa." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.James, Helen. "Tenasserim." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. Kerlogue, Fiona G. "textiles in Southeast Asia." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. "Monsoon Winds to the "Land of Gold" Primary Source Acounts." orias.berkley.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.Rodriguez, Junius. "Indian Ocean slave trade." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2015."The Trading World of the Indian Ocean." The World Economy. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.Images:"Indian Ocean - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." 2011. 27 Nov. 2015"Lateen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." 2011. 27 Nov. 2015"Portugese Colonial Enterprise - History And General Studies." 2015. "Spice Trade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." 2015. 29 Nov. 2015.Primary Sources:English Translation of the Message of the Qur'an. N.p.: BSF Books, 8/28/2006. Web. 29 Nov. 2015."Tibbe Nabawi - Prophetic Medicine - Page 1." 2008. 1 Dec. 2015


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